Young Man with a Horn

"Very Good"

Young Man with a Horn Review


Kirk Douglas always loved playing self-destructive artists. Here he's a musical virtuoso who discovers an uncanny ability to play piano on sight, then picks up a trumpet in a pawn shop and falls in love with it right away.

As a grown man, Douglas's Rick Martin (loosely based on a musician named Bix Beiderbecke) finds himself itching to play jazz but stifled by the constraints of playing in a dance band. His love life fares even worse, as his eventual wife Amy North (Lauren Bacall) runs hot and cold. Throughout it all, his mentor Smoke Willoughby (Hoagy Carmichael) and singer pal Jo (Doris Day) stand by his side while Rick tries to hit an elusive high note that no one else has ever played.

Not nearly as scandalous or as emotional as it would like to be, Horn has moments of power and loads of great music -- interrupted only by Douglas's pathetic pantomime of "playing the trumpet." (Harry James played the notes for real.) Bacall and Day take familiar positions as trouble and good girl, respectively, and Carmichael nearly steals the show with his wisdom-of-the-ages mentor role.

Altogether it's a fair example of a somewhat overworked genre.



Young Man with a Horn

Facts and Figures

Run time: 112 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 9th February 1950

Production compaines: Warner Bros. Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

IMDB: 7.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Rick Martin, as Amy North, as Jo Jordan, as Willie 'Smoke' Willoughby, as Art Hazzard, as Phil Morrison, as Marge Martin, as Louis Galba, Orley Lindgren as Rick as a boy, Walter Reed as Jack Chandler

Also starring: ,

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